Sri Lanka
Led by Mark Woodrow
16 to 30 January 2021 Small Group Tour

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Led by Mark Woodrow Small Group Tour

Sri Lanka is a traveller’s delight, with echoes of ancient cities still dominating the pulse of the country. Rich in cultural treasure and breathtaking vistas it never fails to enchant the senses. Serendipity, an ancient name, describes this country to perfection- Unexpected discoveries and pleasure – this is what you will find in Sri Lanka… lasting memories… outstanding ancient carvings, lush bright green Hill Country strewn with Tea Plantations - perilously terraced on steep hill sides, and the shores, caressed by the clear waters of the Indian Ocean, fringed with whispering Palms. Elsewhere Wildlife Reserves abound with Elephant, Buffalo and shy Leopard

Mark Woodrow

Mark Woodrow is a Parish Priest in rural Suffolk and a self-confessed Indophile.  Having previously lived and worked in India, where fell in love with the food, the climate and the vibrancy that India offers, he is now also an experienced group leader, helping both large and small groups discover the vast diversity of people, traditions, faiths, cultures and geography that the Indian Sub-Continent has to offer.  Mark is also an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland

15 days from £3,550.00 per person
London - Colombo - Negombo - Habarana - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Galle Fort - Ahungalle - Colombo - London

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Itinerary View Map

Day 1: To Colombo

Saturday 16 January

Depart London Heathrow on Emirates Airlines flight to Colombo via Dubai. Departures from regional UK airports are available on request

Day 2: Colombo - Negombo

Sunday 17 January

Arrive Colombo. We are met on arrival before transferring to the Jetwing Beach, Negombo for 1 night.

Accommodation: Jetwing Surf – Arugam Bay

Day 3: To Habarana

Monday 18 January

After breakfast we travel to Habarana, conveniently situated to explore the cultural triangle. Stay at The Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana for 3 nights.

Accommodation: Cinnamon Lodge

Day 4: To Sigiriya & Hiriwaduna Village

Tuesday 19 January

We rise early to visit the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya built by the wildly eccentric King Kasyapa in the 5th C. AD. The spectacular ‘lion rock’ fortress stands majestically over the lush green jungle surroundings, whilst carved in a niche in the rocks are the famous frescoes of beautiful women. Later we take a short tuk tuk ride to the Hiriwaduna lake from where we embark onto a local boat to continue our journey to the village. During the leisurely ride we will be able to see a large variety of dry zone bird life and vegetable plots of local farmers.

Ride on a Bullock cart (ox cart) along a dirt track and arrive at the village hut where we can see how the locals cook their rice and curry using earthenware pots and firewood for fuel. Enjoy the lunch prepared and served on a lotus leaf. ( Duration 3 Hrs )

Day 5: Polonnaruwa

Wednesday 20 January

Morning visit the 2nd Medieval Capital of Sri Lanka at Polonnaruwa. The glamour and wealth of a bygone age are evident in Polonnaruwa, built in the 12th century by King Parakramabahu. The remains of the King’s Palace include shrines, temples, dagobas and the Gal Vihara. B

Day 6: To Kandy via Dambulla Caves

Thursday 21 January

After breakfast we checking out we transfer to Kandy making a stop at the Golden Temple of Dambulla, an important pilgrimage site over the past 22 centuries and one of Sri Lanka's most impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Within the temple's remarkable network of five caves, we will discover a hoard of beautiful 1st-century stone statues built by the kings of that time. Stop at a spice garden before reaching Kandy, last capital of the ancient kings', which nestles amongst low hills looped by the Mahaweli River. The evening is spent at leisure Stay at the Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy for 2 nights.

Day 7: To Peradeniya Gardens

Friday 22 January

After a leisurely breakfast we begin to explore Kandy. Last ruled by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe - before it was brought under the British rule in 1815, Kandy - the World Heritage site & last royal capital of Sri Lankan kings - crafts an array of culture, history and heritage in the minds of visitors across the globe. We visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and continue to tour Kandy including a visit to the Art and Crafts workshop and the Bazaars. Later in the evening we visit the Temple of the Tooth in time for the evening Pooja.

Day 8: To Nuwara Eliya by Train

Saturday 23 January

After breakfast and checking out we transfer to Kandy Railway Station to board train to Nanu Oya (Nuwara Eliya) or Hatton. Our driver will meet us with our luggage on arrival. A lovely journey, climbing ever higher through rolling hills dotted with Tea Plantations. Nuwara Eliya, built during the 19th century in an architectural style mimicking that of an old English country town. This famous home of Ceylon Tea is set 1,900m above sea level, at the foot of Mount Piduruthalagala. ‘Tea country’ Victorian and Tudor style homes line the pretty blue lake, adding to its charm. Stay at the Heritance Tea Factory, Kandapola for 2 nights.

Day 9: The Tea Experience

Sunday 24 January

For the ultimate holiday souvenir, how about taking home a packet of tea that you picked yourself?. Decked out in local attire, saree for the ladies, sarong for the gentlemen and armed with your own basket we will be taken to the organic tea fields and shown how to pluck our own tea leaves. We’ll no doubt find that it takes a bit of practice to make sure the leaves end up in your basket rather than on the floor!
Professional tea pluckers will accompany us and teach us about the 'Two Leaves and a Bud' protocol when plucking tea leaves and you’ll be amazed at how efficiently and quickly they manage to fill their baskets by comparison. We will then be taken on a tour of the Mini Tea Factory and explain the whole process, from the initial drying (withering) of the leaves, through rolling, fermenting and sifting, to produce the different types of tea. Finally, we get to taste all the different teas, from flowery pekoe to green tea and teabag dust, to appreciate for yourself the differences in colour, flavour and strength. The next day, a packet of your very own tea will be ready for you to take home. So every time you have a cuppa you will be reminded of your wonderful stay at Heritance Tea Factory.

Accommodation: Heritance Tea Factory

Day 10: To Yala

Monday 25 January

Morning drive to Yala. En route stop at Ella Falls to enjoy breathtaking views. At the Ella Gap the escarpment, 3,280 ft high splits apart, and the valley plummets to the plains below. Stay at the Cinnamon Wild, Yala for 2 nights. (Jungle Chalet).

Accommodation: Cinnamon Wild

Day 11: Yala National Park Game Drive

Tuesday 26 January

Morning and afternoon game drive to the Park. Trail Leopard - visiting places where they are found regularly in caves and rock outcrops including - “Koti-gala” and ”Pandi-Kema.”

Day 12: To Ahungalle

Wednesday 27 January

After breakfast and check out we make our way to Ahungalle on the southern coast of Sri Lanka; pass saltpans, freshwater lagoons, palm fringed villages. Enjoy a walking tour of Galle Fort and visit a turtle hatchery in Kosgoda. Stay at the Heritance Ahungalle, Ahungalle for 3 nights.

Day 13: Ahungalle

Thursday 28 January

Days at leisure.

Day 14: To London via Dubai

Friday 29 January

Sadly, it is almost time to bid our farewells to this wonderful country, So, after breakfast we check out and make our way to the airport to board our Emirates Airlines flight back to London Heathrow via Dubai. (Flights into other regional UK airports are available on request)

Itinerary map

Dates & Prices

Dates Price per person (Double/Twin share) Single room supplement
16-30 Jan 2021 £3,550.00 £1,168.00
Cost includes:
  • International air fare in economy class with Emirates Airline.
  • Accommodation at selected hotels
  • Daily breakfast and dinner. WIth Home cooked lunch at Hiriwaduna Village on 19th January 2021
  • Transfers and sightseeing arrangements by an airconditioned private chauffeur driven coach and air-conditioned cars.
  • Services of our representative for transfers and local English speaking guide for sightseeing.
  • Services of Mark Woodrow
  • Full ATOL & ABTA bonding.
Cost does not include:
  • Visa fee for Sri Lanka. We will send relevant information how to obtain an electronic E-Toursit Authorisation.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Tips and Gratuities.
  • Any expense of a personal nature.

What our clients say

Just thought I’d drop you a line now that sadly, our holiday is fading into a memory: we had a wonderful time and you and your team in India had done a magnificent job for us, as usual. Many sights and sounds, lovely hotels, nice guides and drivers etc. Thank you for all your hard work in organising it. We are meeting up with Mr…

Mr & Mrs K - India Holiday